Atheism and sexual deviancy

“Is sex outside of marriage a sin? Is it a public matter? Is it forgivable?”

No, of course sex outside marriage is not a public matter, and yes, of course it is forgivable. Only a person infected by the sort of sanctimonious self-righteousness that religion uniquely inspires would apply the meaningless word ‘sin’ to private sexual behavior.

It is the mark of the religious mind that it cares more about private than public morality.

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/1926-banishing-the-green-eyed-monster

According to Dawkins, sexual morality and fidelity to marriage vows is an entirely private matter, and nobody else’s business. Married men who want to have sex outside of marriage should be allowed to do so, with no shame or disapproval from others.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to wonder why a man who’s on his third wife might want to believe that, do you?

According to the words spoken by a man in the historic English marriage ceremony, here’s what I promised to my wife:

I call upon these persons here present to witness that I take you to be my lawful wedded wife. to have and to hold, from this day, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death us do part, and this is my promise to you.

I was then asked:

Will you have this woman to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

To which I replied, “I will”.

The intention to marry is, by law, published in advance. Those present at the wedding are given an opportunity to state if they know any reason why the marriage might be unlawful. It is then registered with the state. Various laws to do with the state of marriage then come into play. The state then has laws for divorce; and adultery gives an automatic right of divorce.

Yet, according to the new atheists’ chosen champion of reason and rationality, one’s faithfulness to their marriage is all a private affair that nobody else has any legitimate interest in. Marriages are made publicly and registered and regulated publicly – but whether you follow your marriage vows or treat them as a joke – well, what’s that got to do with anything? Meaningless!

Dear new atheists: please find a new champion of reason and rationality. This one has been making you look silly for too long.

Is anyone aware of empirical research into correlations between vociferous atheism and sexual deviancy?

 

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25 Responses to Atheism and sexual deviancy

  1. For the record, no one here is paying Dawkins to do this stuff. ;)

  2. David Anderson,

    not see connection for “animal minds” and “science”. i miss?

    also say in title “sexual deviancy” but “adultery” only written of. other conditions in your mind?

    “adultery” as matter of law civil or criminal in home country?

    is possible one man faithful for two plus wives? (friends from church LDS agree yes)

    sergio

  3. Actually Sergio, our LDS friends have been saying no since the 1890′s.

    I may be a little outdated but, marriage is defined as 1 man and 1 woman, at least it used to be.

    Technically, if your country supports plural marriage by law, and all partners consent, and assuming none of them “STRAY” then yes one man can “under law” be faithful to more than one wife.

  4. “Sin” is not a word typically used by atheists, except when discussing religion.

    As best I can recall, a recent survey reported that the divorce rate is lower among atheists than among Christians. I think the surveyed population was the USA. Admittedly, divorce is not the same thing as adultery, though they are often related.

  5. Is anyone aware of empirical research into correlations between vociferous atheism and sexual deviancy?

    I’m not aware of any, but it is research worth doing, not to demean atheists but to help Christian extend a little more compassion. I do have some anecdotal evidence and some thoughts on the matter.

    But first, I have to apologize for my mocking of homosexuals, transgendered individuals, and those enjoying sex with animals (zoophiles), as well as straight heterosexual adulterers.

    I’ve been very mean toward some of these people. For example, I publicly humiliated Skatje Myers after she criticized my essay against human-animal sex. I said Darwinists practicing human-animal sex was disgusting, and Skatje tried to defend the practice. This was a pretty easy debate for me to win and her resulting humiliation didn’t exactly endear me to her daddy PZ Myers!

    Sexual relationships between humans and animals come as such a shock to people, but it doesn’t to me. There can be very deep, meaningful relationships between humans and their pets.

    Skatje Myers
    (daughter of Darwinist PZ Myers)

    and on top of that she said

    I’d rather have sex with a non-human than with a young earth creationist.
    Skatje Myers:

    You can see how I exploited such ill-considered remarks, and earned the reputation of being vile and nasty in this link:
    http://asiancorrespondent.com/.....hing-much/

    That was pretty mean on my part toward PZ’s daughter, and I will try to make some amends by somewhat defending Dawkins in the process of mostly criticizing him.

    Needless to say, it is easy for me (and many Christians) to despise zoophiles, transgendered individuals, and homosexuals. The xenophobia is not religiously based but probably biological, religion is merely an excuse to sanction some less-than-sensitive treatment of these people (religion doesn’t sanction their behavior, however). I’m the foremost guilty of being mean-spirited, and to that community of people, I extend my apologies for my insensitivity, but if there is a Judeo-Christian God, such sexual behavior is still wrong. I will have more to say below.

  6. Is anyone aware of empirical research into correlations between vociferous atheism and sexual deviancy?

    As I said, I’m not aware of any, but I will predict there is absolutely a correlation, but not for the reason some will think.

    I will make the bold statement that the reason there will be correlation is not that atheism causes deviancy but that deviancy (which may be biologically based) will tend to cause atheism, and thus for some, there will be more barriers to becoming and remaining a Christian than for others. It’s not politically correct in Christian circles to say so, but I’m saying it now: certain biological predispositions make it harder to become a Christian. Some people face temptations which average citizens can’t ever imagine. But even then, average citizens can face biologically-based tempatations which can draw them away from the faith. I personally believe, for example, there is a biological predisposition toward homosexuality, maybe even transgenderism, and zoophilism, and certainly toward adultery.

    And now to somewhat defend Dawkins while mostly criticizing him. I have friends and relatives who had spouses from hell. It would be easier for some with a good spouse to remain faithful to Christian values than those with spouses from hell. Recall that Emma Darwin, wife of Charles Darwin, was a Christian married to one of the greatest enemies of the Christian faith. What an awful situation. As far as I can tell she loved the guy, but there surely some Christian women wed to children of the devil. In such cases, it surely is challenging to remain faithful to one’s vows…this was poignantly illustrated through a fictional work by Hawthorne, The Scarlett Letter. Hester Prynne fell in love and had a child with Reverend Dimsdale while she was married to a fiend by the name of Roger Chillingworth. I suppose most Christian girls would be rooting for Hester and Reverend Dimsdale as a couple versus Hester and Roger Chillingworth!

    For myself, once when I was a sophomore Electrical Engineering and piano student, when in line at the Registrar’s office I met the girl standing behind me through the coincidence of a mutal friend. She was blonde, athletic, attractive and about 10 years older than I. It turned out she was a Chemical Engineer that had gone back to school to get a degree in piano performance….When I found out she was a Chemical engineer, I asked, “did you study Physcial Chemistry?”

    We eventually crossed paths again many times in the school cafeteria. I was fascinated to learn of her life as a chemical engineer and occasional concert pianist. We would sometimes wonder off into the music building. She would play Beethoven and Bach for me, and I would play Liszt and Chopin for her. We’d sometime sing together. It was really charming when I heard her mention the word “Enthalpy”.

    She visited me at my parent’s house. She played a Beethoven sonata for my mother and I. Somewhere during all this time I found out she was married but perhaps separated. I remember her tears when she told me. We didn’t do anything that we would regret, but I found myself quite in love with her. There could have been no future with her. She was 10 years older and wiser, she was not a Christian, she was probably a Darwinist, and she was married. I was young and naive, I didn’t realize how innocent conversations about piano and engineering could lead to desires that were wrong.

    It raised the question, “why would God insist people remain in unhappy marriages?”. Of course, the answer is perhaps that it symbolizes God’s fidelity toward his church and people who are perennially a disappointment to Him. But such theological answers are scarcely comforting even if true.

    I related my story with Emily (not her real name) because I think more people can relate to it. But as strong as my attraction was to Emily, I suppose “deviant” individuals have as strong if not stronger attraction towards those they are attracted to. We might be inclined to say atheism is the cause of these desires, but I would suspect, as was in my case, that these desires are part of our human nature, and sometimes (if not often) our human nature diametrically opposed to what God wants.

    In the eyes of some of these “deviants”, their lifestyle seems more real and moral than God’s law just like it seems more moral in a sense that Hester Prynne run off with Reverend Dimsdale than her fiendish son-of-the devil husband. Indeed, one of my favorite oldie love stories are Camelot and Love is a Many Splendored Thing. Not altogether surprising, many Christian women find these to be beautiful and incredibly romantic stories, yet these movies are centered around adulterous relationships. See:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kAshN_1Trk

    So, in partial defense of Dawkins, if there is no God, it would seem logical to avoid monogamy and instead have Hester Prynne shack up with Arthur Dimsdale and let them live happily ever after. But if there is a God, who will sometime demand painful sacrifice, then making those sacrifices is the right thing to do. And that is why the question of God’s existence is important, and by way of extension the question of Intelligent Design and Creation.

    My conclusion: Human Nature tends us toward atheism, atheism does not create our corrupted nature it merely catalyzes it. The empirical study of “deviance” and atheism should indicated some correlation partly because the PRACTICE of “deviance” will not be tolerated in the church or more importantly by God himself.

  7. F/N: Can I suggest we all take a leaf from the AA big book? KF

  8. F/N: Can I suggest we all take a leaf from the AA big book? KF

    Grr. Now my copy is all wet.

    I need glasses.

  9. Sal -

    “It raised the question, “why would God insist people remain in unhappy marriages?”. Of course, the answer is perhaps that it symbolizes God’s fidelity toward his church and people who are perennially a disappointment to Him. But such theological answers are scarcely comforting even if true.”

    I think this is part of it. But I think a deeper reason is that fidelity itself makes the world better. We must remember that we ourselves will be that horrendous person at some point. In marriages that last for a century, some decades one party will be the bad one, and in other decades the other one may be. But the point of marriage is that we can trust in the fidelity of the relationship, held together not just by us, but by everyone around us.

    Once we realize that the point of the relationship isn’t our own personal increased happiness, it makes us better people, too.

  10. I will make the bold statement that the reason there will be correlation is not that atheism causes deviancy but that deviancy (which may be biologically based) will tend to cause atheism, and thus for some, there will be more barriers to becoming and remaining a Christian than for others.

    I will make the bold statement that this is so much unsubstantiated BS.

  11. I will make the bold statement that this is so much unsubstantiated BS.

    Simple example. I’ve never had any problem whatsover with an eating disorder, but I’ve had friends that do. They deal with challenges I don’t and which I could never comprehend.

    There are others who may suffer chronic pain and thus be more inclined to be substance abusers.

    There are women who suffer post partum depression which leads them to do some very unkind things.

    Someone might be suffering starvation and might steal, etc.

    We pray that God will spare us from temptation. We could be placed in contexts which will pressure us to do what is wrong.

    It’s easier to be faithful if one has a good spouse than a spouse from hell. I have friends and family members wed to awful people. If I were a parent, I’d never wish that on a child. Sometimes someone turning into a bad apple could never have been predicted from all the most careful vetting. People change, sometimes for the worse…

    I could of course go on, and not to mention the fact that God himself says temptation comes in part through our corrupt human FLESH (which means biology). There is nothing in the Bible that says we will all be equal biologically and have equal levels of temptation. The Christian culture that argues against the notion that some are more biologically predisposed to certain sins than others don’t really have any Bible verses to back such speculative theology do they? Actually the Bible suggest the opposite, starting with the fact that Men and Women are different and thus will have different challenges and obligations.

  12. johnnyb,

    One of the books of the Bible I had in mind was Hosea. God had Hosea marry a woman whom God knew would betray him. God’s calling was to make him feel some pain in that marriage so as to be witness to what God endures with His people.

    Also it says in Psalm 15 that God looks well on those who keep their vows even when it hurts. People will have lots of opportunity to do just that in this fallen world.

    Of course, if there is no such God, these considerations are moot, and Dawkins, for all the fun we’ve made of him, has some utilitarian merit in as much as a Godless world really doesn’t have a basis for morals except arbitrary ideas of right and wrong.

  13. Scordova says:

    “I will make the bold statement that the reason there will be correlation is not that atheism causes deviancy but that deviancy (which may be biologically based) will tend to cause atheism, and thus for some, there will be more barriers to becoming and remaining a Christian than for others.”

    Personally, I think deviancy and atheism feed off each other and encourage each other. I think it is hard to say which causes the other. The atheistic worldview make it easier to commit sexual sin because they claim there is no such thing as sexual sin. This means that each one is free to make up his own opinion of what he thinks is right and wrong in the sexual arena. So if there is some type of sexual act that one wants to do, since atheists know there is no such thing as sexual sin, it is easy to justify.

    A person who finds himself enslaved by sex, maybe by pornography, etc. might get to the point where it is easier to reject the existence of God to try and free himself from his conscience than to try and do the hard work of overcoming the sin.

    I tend to think people in the first category are more numerous than those in the second, but who knows?

    As to the deviancy being biologically based and hence a higher barrier for that person to become a Christian, I guess I would say that is possible. It hasn’t been proven there is a biological basis for homosexuality, but I think there are some indications that people with certain make ups may be more susceptible.

    But in the end, we all have different barriers to overcome on our way to Jesus. I was one of the lucky ones in that I grew up in a Christian family so I really had few barriers to overcome. But for someone who is brought up in a Muslim country or in China, they would have far greater barriers to overcome on their way to Jesus. This is just a fact of life and it doesn’t excuse anybody because, regardless we are all sinners and our sin is the reason we are not allowed into heaven. No one can argue against that.

    Life just isn’t fair and it is not God’s job to make it fair either. That will happen at the final judgment when all sin is finally judged, but for now, we live in a world full of injustice which is mostly due to our own sin.

    Some of the examples you give in a later post of this though really don’t seem like biological problems. Actually, depression might be the thing that opens a person’s eyes to the fact that they need God. Yes, it might make them more susceptible to suicide or to committing certain sins, but I hope you are not saying that the circumstances we find ourselves in are reason for God to overlook our sin. They might be reasons for lesser judgment in the afterlife, but we are still responsible for how we deal with our circumstances, and for the choices we make.

    I do agree with the men and women example though. Generally speaking men are more susceptible to idolizing “sex” while women are more susceptible to idolizing “love.” If that is all you mean by what you are saying then sure, I agree.

  14. F/N: I think it worth clipping the AA Big Book:

    ___________

    >> Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of be-ing honest with themselves . . . . If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it—then you are ready to take certain steps. At some of these we balked. We thought we could ?nd an easier, softer way. But we could not . . . . Remember that we deal with alcohol—cunning, baf-?ing, powerful! Without help it is too much for us.

    But there is One who has all power—that One is God.

    May you ?nd Him now!

    Half measures availed us nothing . . . . Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than our-selves could restore us to sanity.

    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.[--> This is the famous, pivotal public confession, "I am an Alcoholic . . . "]

    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

    8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

    10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

    11. Sought through prayer and meditation to im-prove our conscious contact with God as we un-derstood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

    12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.’’ Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like per-fect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection . . . [Alcoholics Anonymous, "big Book," ch 5, pp.58 - 60.] >>
    ___________

    It is worth noting that this approach, with significant success, has been extended from alcohol to many other life-dominating destructive, morally loaded — i.e. sinful — habits. In short, there is hope. KF

    PS: Flesh — sarx — speaks to not so much the biological body per say as our desires and appetites (which obviously link to our bodies but the locus is more psychological than somatic) used as a gateway for being obsessed with and/or taken over by selfish, sinful, addictive and destructive misconduct. That is why benumbing of conscience and en-darken-ment of mind/heart are spoken of as key aspects of the problem. And, by direct extension, the focus is on worldliness as cultural deviance that caters to such out of order twisting of appetites and habits. And reigning over all is the infamous spirit of disobedience.

  15. Thanks for your thoughts Tjguy, I think you’re more accurate than I.

    ==================================
    I mentioned The Scarlet Letter which Hester Prynne was to wear as punishment for her Adultery. It turns out Dawkins has made it a uniform for his followers.

    http://explodingpipeline.blogs.....etter.html

    We see the Scarlet Letter proudly displayed by all the Atheists at Freethought Blogs.

  16. sal:

    … God himself says temptation comes in part through our corrupt human FLESH (which means biology).

    You are SUCH a literalist.

    It’s easier to be faithful if one has a good spouse than a spouse from hell.

    Of course I disagree. Unfaithfulness comes from within. It’s not the spouses fault.

  17. So, you claim that atheists are sexual deviants? I assume that the pedophile catholic priests are not sexual deviants? The Muslims who marry girls at the age of 6 are not deviants? The numerous examples of ministers who molest children in their churches are not deviants? There are people on the LDS fringe who marry young girls. There are sexual deviants of all religious persuasions. Atheists get divorced at lower rates than Christians, especially Evangelical Christians. Are there some atheists who are sexual deviants. Of course. But it hardly limited to atheists. And the number of theists who commit sexual crimes far outweighs anything the atheists do.

  18. 18

    @Jeff Dixon

    The ones you’ve mentioned are all sexual deviants.

    And the number of theists who commit sexual crimes far outweighs anything the atheists do.

    What is your source for such a claim?

  19. F/N: Onlookers have a look at the discussion here. Use common sense to know what definitions mean. There is indeed a divorce-remarriage problem, and it reflects a massive breakdown in our civilisation (in large part driven by no prizes for guessing what radically relativising and amoral influences . . . recall the fraction of declared Christians propagandised in schools and wider culture to reject objective moral truth as one example) that points to terrible consequences. As for sexual deviancy, look at the implications of the case in the OP; note, this is the leading voice of new atheism, and the problem of no foundational is for ought for an evo mat worldview refuses to go away. KF

  20. Anyone of either sex with just a little testosterone is surely capable of any number of deviancies, and what it really boils down to is one’s sense of moral beauty and ugliness.

    That is the ‘bottom line’, although the water would seem to be muddied somewhat by other considerations, such as, perhaps, societal status. Andre Gide went to Russia to persuade Stalin to go easier on homosexuals, Stalin sent him packing in short order, and I expect rather than a fine sense of moral beauty in Stalin’s case, it would have been such other considerations. Although perhaps the thought of the faecal plumbing would be enough even to make Stalin bilious.

    The paramount importance of preserving that sense of moral beauty and moral ugliness was surely the reason why Yahweh commanded the ancient Hebrews not to ‘seethe a kid in its mother’s milk.’ Mom and apple pie.. the milk of human kindness. It is not difficult to understand, is it?

    It seems to me that the most militant homosexuals are determined to make the national legislation change their own current deviancy into the mainstream, and if possible, to avenge themselves on Christians for the marginalisation, criminality and shame they have felt in even a post-Christian society. The depth of the dishonesty (very successful, however) to which they have resorted in terms of their propaganda, would be comical in a more anodyne context.

  21. In the final analysis, like straight sex, it comes down to sexual incontinence. Only a moral order imposed by a religious (Lat. religere: to bind) belief, and the sense of moral beauty it engenders, is able to sublimate it, as it does in the context of Christian, even post-Christian* marriage.

    *As is clear from Matthew 25, there will be people who will have been inspired subliminally by holy charity, who have no formal knowledge of Christ, who will be welcomed into the courts of eternity, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Also, perhaps the cryptic reference, in I Corinthians 15:29, of being baptised for the dead may have some bearing on the matter.

  22. In my post 20, I said, ‘Anyone of either sex with just a little testosterone is surely capable of any number of deviancies,…’

    But that cannot be quite the full story, since while acquiescence (entailing identification with the disorder) is an effect of the Fall, and well high-lighted by the nature of rape, and consequently demonic in origin, there appears to be a singularly demonic origin in some rare cases, such as the men in the UK who were reported to be prey to a lust for fornicating with pavements, in one case, and cars, in another. It might read like a joke, but it was apparently true.

  23. Leaving aside the key issue of identification with bad thoughts, describing them as temptations, in many cases, not just in matters of singular or multiple disordered orientation of the libido, would be erroneous, since, mercifully, people of good will would find them anywhere on a scale from repugnant to hideous.

    Apart from the incontinent lust*, which, via its prison gulag, makes the US the country with the most male rapes in the world – possibly a single state – the other main factor in the potential propensity for homosexual or bisexual orientation in everyone would, of course, be a maladapted gender-identification resulting from excessive bonding with the mother in infancy (or presumably father in the case of a female?), possibly, in combination with an unassertive, remote or absent male role-model; some such role-model deficiency.

    *A circular argument, but the sense is clear.

  24. 24

    @Jeff Dixon: You have still failed to provider the source for your claim? Were you actually making stuff up?

    Tobi.

  25. “So, you claim that atheists are sexual deviants?”

    When you have no objective moral standards to hold to, then sexual deviancy is obviously going to be a problem.

    “I assume that the pedophile catholic priests are not sexual deviants?”

    You assume wrong.

    “The Muslims who marry girls at the age of 6 are not deviants?”

    Again, you assume wrong.

    “The numerous examples of ministers who molest children in their churches are not deviants?”

    Again, you assume wrong.

    “There are people on the LDS fringe who marry young girls. There are sexual deviants of all religious persuasions.”

    Yes, and? The “fringe” of any religious group certainly does not speak for the entire religious group as a whole any more than deviant atheists could speak for all atheists as a whole. It’s a logical fallacy.

    “Atheists get divorced at lower rates than Christians, especially Evangelical Christians.”

    Citation needed. Your proof for this is…where?

    “Are there some atheists who are sexual deviants. Of course. But it hardly limited to atheists. And the number of theists who commit sexual crimes far outweighs anything the atheists do.”

    Citation needed.

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